Witcher 2 Devs on 360 Version: “We’re Not Changing Our Target Audience”

Context: Earlier this week I attended a preview event for the forthcoming Xbox 360 version of The Witcher 2, which was originally released in 2011 as a PC-exclusive. Coming to XBox 360 on April 17, it’s a dark, visually-stunning and challenging RPG, and console gamers are lucky this is happening (read my hands-on to see why, you lucky bastards).

I had a chance to talk with two gentlemen from CD Projekt at the event, Marek Ziemak (Level Artist) and Maciej Szczesnik (Lead Combat Designer) about the project. When asked “Why choose a console at all? Why not just continue to develop content exclusively for the PC” I received the below response(s).

They’re merely expanding, guys. Can you blame them? It’s kind of cool to see a multi-platform game develop in this way–getting the PC version out there first with superior graphics and optimized controls, then moving the game to consoles so the graphics can be tastefully downgraded and the controls recalibrated. Right?

Game Front: Why choose a console at all? Why not just continue to develop content exclusively for the PC?

Maciej Szczesnik: For sure we’ll still develop content for the PC. But we always wanted to make a multi-platform game. We always wanted to make multi-platform technology. We’ve achieved that.

Marek Ziemak: We’re definitely not changing our target. We’re expanding. We want all gamers to be able to enjoy the game. We believe it’s a great RPG, so we wanted to deliver it to the PC, and to the console players. We weren’t able to do it seemlessly. We’re a small studio; we can focus on one project. We chose the PC first, and now we’re working on Xbox [360]. We really want to deliver it to the players. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to change our politics or something, but yeah we want to deliver it to as many players as possible.

Later, we asked a different question, and got more PC-affirming responses:

Game Front: Do you think more of your games will follow the same plan of starting on PC and ending up on consoles?

MZ: At the very start, we knew we wanted to make it multiplatform, because we were creating our own technology, our own engine this way. It’s not like after creating the PC version we had to create another engine to launch the Xbox 360 version. We had a multiplatform technology. It’s just redesigning some of the elements, polishing to be absolutely sure that the game is really good.

MS: Also, we wanted to deliver it first to PC gamers, because originally we were PC-only. Witcher 1 was PC-only. We are still feeling very connected to PC gaming in general.

This is an excerpt from our full Witcher 2 Xbox 360 video interview. Check it out.

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